If you’re homeschooling reluctant writers, chances are you’re pulling your hair (and theirs) to try and get them to enjoy writing. But we know how important writing is, right? I found several resources that will make writing fun for your kids, and they’re educational too!
Why doesn’t my child like to write?
Although this answer varies, I’m going to tap into my “school teacher” background to help you understand what you’re reluctant writers may be going through. Each of these situations may or may not describe your child, but they are good starting points to help you figure out the issue with your reluctant writer.
Reluctant writers often find writing difficult.
You can see it in their face. The signs of diffculty are typically evident. But why is it difficult for them? This mostly boils down to the lack of skills linked back to the prewriting stage. Think holding a pencil, having the small motor skill to make the small circles and straight lines that form letters, and the patience to write legibly. A child’s inability to do these things causes them to see writing as a difficult task.
Reluctant writers may not like writing because it physically hurts.
Not to say they have arthritis or carpal tunnel at their precious little age; however, we’re talking muscle and motor foundation. It takes an unnoticeable amount of strength to hold a pencil and write for any amount of time. Just like any muscle, the muscles used in writing need practice.
Reluctant writers oftentimes are not patient.
Usually I’d say they lack the ability to concentrate, but what it boils down to is the skill of patience. We have that issue even as adults. And know how important it is to be able to (1) concentrate, (2) be patient, and (3) remove distractions. The same goes for our children.
Sometimes reluctant writers have a development issue*.
I’m out of the field of helping diagnose developmental issues in children. However, here is a list to serve as a starting point to help identify if there’s a development issue in your reluctant writer:
- Dysgraphia: neurological disorder of written expression that impairs writing ability and fine motor skills.
- Attention Defecit Disorder: attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
- Spatial Ordering Issues: decreased awareness regarding the spatial arrangement of letters, words, or sentences on a page.
- Sequential Ordering Issues: difficulty putting or maintaining letters, processes, or ideas in order.
- Memory Issues: difficulty recalling spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules, accessing prior knowledge while writing, or organizing ideas.
- Language Issues: may manifest itself in a child’s writing as poor vocabulary, awkward phrasing and unconventional grammar, difficulty with sentence structure and word order, and the like.
- Graphomotor Issues: struggles to coordinate the small muscles of the fingers in order to maneuver a pen or pencil, especially as assignment length increases.
*Keep the developmental age of your child in mind before assuming any of the problems could be underlying issues. Some children may not be developmentally ready. In other cases there could be something worth noting.
A post you may enjoy: 3 Benefits to Teaching Cursive Writing
10+ Cool Resources for Reluctant Writers
Let’s look at some resources to help your reluctant writer enjoy writing (and work on valuable skills simultaneously).
These workbooks are what the title says… your child writes, wipes it clean and write again. Wipe clean books are fun, engaging, and money savers! Below are a few I highly recommend for early writers:
A Journal for Kids
My Year of Writing is a year’s worth of imaginative prompts for word associations, stories, jokes, and more. It is an innovative way of helping young writers discover their own personal creativity, fire up their imaginations, and hone their writing skills. Have an artistic kiddo? You may want to check out My Year of Art!
Write Your Own Stories
Sometimes kids need the ability to creatively express themselves through writing. There’s a “Write Your Own” series of books that puts a new spin on writing. Plus they are educationally sound. Here are a few available:
- Write & Draw Your Own Comics
- Wrte & Design Your Own Magazines
- Write Your Own Poems, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Stories, Scripts
In this box set you will find everything your reluctant writers need to start a “writing career.” Two of the books are loaded with tips and prompts for writing stories, poems, and essays. And there’s a handy journal to write down notes, observations and chapters. Included are: Creative Writing Book, Write Your Own Storybook, and Writing Journal.
And there you have it! We use several Usborne Books in our homeschool. As a matter of fact, they are the how I create my own lesson plans. Interested in learning more? Click here! In the meantime, let me know (in the comments) if you have a reluctant writer. What is their biggest struggle?